Asylum seekers living in tents in Dublin moved

Asylum seekers who were camping outside a government office in central Dublin have been moved by officials.

Hundreds of international protection applicants had been in a makeshift camp outside the International Protection Office on Mount Street for months.

They were taken by bus to alternative accommodation - understood to be other tents - on Saturday morning.

The Taoiseach (Irish PM) Leo Varadkar told RTÉ News the tents had been moved for "health and safety reasons".

Speaking from Washington DC, where he is taking part in St Patrick's Day celebrations, Mr Varadkar told the Irish broadcaster that the alternative site had sanitary facilities and showers, while the original site did not.

There has been criticism of the conditions the people have been living in.

RTÉ has reported that rubbish and damaged tents have been left behind at the city-centre site, which has no sanitation.

The Department of Integration told RTÉ that the accommodation on offer will not just be for St Patrick's weekend.

The alternative tented accommodation is at Crooksling in south-west County Dublin.

In a statement the The Department of Integration said those who had accepted the offer would be given food, personal toiletries, toilet and shower facilities at the site.

The department said it would engage with the Irish health service to "ensure the wellbeing of those on site".

'Women and children'

The department said it engaged with Dublin City Council and the area where the tents had been was being cleaned and cleared.

However, it added that it was a "challenging" situation.

"The supply of available accommodation is severely diminished," a spokesman said.

"What accommodation can be opened at this point is primarily being utilised for families in order to avoid women and children becoming homeless," he added.

Since January, approximately 2,400 beds have been brought into use for those seeking accommodation.

The Labour Party Leader Ivana Bacik said she was glad to see accommodation had now been provided.

"It should never have got so bad here - huge credit to all the local volunteers who gave such immense support and help to all the people here this week," she said.

The Irish refugee council said on X (formerly Twitter) that the move was welcome news but that they hoped the people had been taken to "appropriate accommodation where they can recuperate".